At its 20th session in Brussels, Belgium, UNPO formally voted to accept the Nation’s Capital as a new member. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is an international, nonviolent and democratic membership organization. Its members are indigenous peoples, minorities and unrecognized or occupied territories who have joined together to protect and promote their human and cultural rights, to preserve their environments and to find nonviolent solutions to conflicts which affect them. The UNPO Presidency considered the application of the District of Columbia, alongside that of two other prospective members. Only the DC application met the formal requirements for membership. In recognition of its lack of self-determination, lack of voting representation in the national legislature, and potential unequal weight in Presidential elections, the District of Columbia was admitted as a member of UNPO through a vote by the Presidency Members. The UNPO found that the struggle for equal political representation in the Nation’s Capital clearly qualifies DC as an unrepresented territory.
Commenting on the admission of the District of Columbia and DC’s lack of democratic representation, UNPO General Secretary, Mr. Marino Busdachin said, “UNPO is honored to admit the District of Columbia as a Member to the organization. The District of Columbia is one of many unrepresented territories around the world where there is a clear lack of democratic rule; the people of DC should be entitled to the right to representation in the US Congress.”
Many believe that the continuing denial of equal congressional voting rights to the citizens of Washington, DC is a serious human rights violation, and places the Government of the United States of America in contravention of numerous international human rights treaties and other international agreements, chief among which is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).